Republicans Offer Ideas to Save Union Jobs

March 11, 2016

Republicans Offer Ideas to Save Union Jobs
Two Furlough Days Would Eliminate the Need for Layoffs in 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) today explained how small changes to employee benefits and two furlough days could be used to prevent union layoffs proposed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.

“To avoid the governor’s proposed layoffs totaling $6 million this year, all union employees would have to do is agree to two targeted furlough days, which would save $8 million in the General Fund alone,” said Sen. Fasano.

“To maintain this savings for next year, unions could avoid layoffs entirely if they agree to come back to the table to look at small increases in their health premiums and prescription drug co-pays, among other changes.”

“Sadly, when it comes to union negotiations often the powerless are sacrificed for the powerful. If layoffs occur, it will be the newer workers with lower wages who are let go. It won’t be those union heads in power. If unions don’t want to see layoffs, they have the muscle to stop them. But they have to put people before politics.”

“These employees are going to lose their jobs because of years of bad budgets passed by Democrats and the governor driving our state finances into the ground. But there is a way to save these jobs. Union heads just need to be willing to put workers first and start the conversation about other cost saving alternatives.”

The $8 million in savings from two furlough days in fiscal year 2016 would come from targeted furloughs and would therefore not apply to employees in departments that need 24 hour staffing.

In fiscal year 2017, Governor Malloy’s proposed layoffs would save approximately $78 million (the governor estimates his layoffs will save $3 million per pay period, with 26 pay periods in a year). To avoid this $78 million hit on jobs, unions could instead make the changes outlined in the attached which would save at least $101 million in fiscal year 2017.